Should You Adopt a Kitten or Adult Cat?

Courtesy of MEOW Cat Rescue

The vast majority of people who decide to adopt a cat choose a kitten. Kittens are so cute they’re just irresistible. Many people like the idea of watching their pet grow and feel that by adopting a kitten they’re starting out with a “clean slate.”

What most people don’t realize is that caring for a kitten is a lot like caring for a baby. Young kittens need almost constant supervision. You have to safeguard their health: Electrical and computer cords, knickknacks, household cleaners, drawers, window screens, toilet bowls, your feet, and other pets can place a kitten’s safety at risk.

Kittens also have endless energy. Expect your kitten to spend its nights scaling your drapes and running up and down your stairs and across your countertops. Rarely will a young kitten sleep at the foot of your bed.

An adult cat, on the other hand, is usually much calmer and less likely to get into trouble. And, because an adult cat is fully-grown, you know what you’re getting in terms of personality and appearance. You can tell whether or not a cat is the type to sit on your lap, for example.

Depending on your own age and lifestyle, you may be better off adopting an adult cat. If you have a quiet lifestyle, work outside the home, or have children under six, consider adopting an adult cat or cats. Senior citizens are often unprepared for a kitten’s energy level and would actually get more enjoyment from adopting a calm adult or senior cat.

Young children move quickly and like to hug pets. Kids can accidentally hurt a small kitten, which might bite or scratch if it’s scared. The right adult cat, on the other hand, is more likely to tolerate children and less likely to be injured.

The best part about adopting an adult or senior cat? You’re literally saving a life. Because most people want to adopt kittens, a cat’s chances for adoption decrease with age. Most of these cats make wonderful pets when someone gives them a chance. MEOW is a no-kill shelter. The cats remain there, or in foster care, until they are adopted. Sadly, although the odds are improving, many older cats at shelters are euthanized. By adopting an adult cat, you are helping make room for more who might otherwise be put down.

MEOW does not place single kittens in catless homes or homes with only older cats. Kittens need a buddy. Somebody to wrestle with, to bite and scratch. Somebody to chase from one end of the room to the other. Somebody to curl up with for a nap. Certainly, they enjoy human companionship, love to play with you, and will learn that a human lap is one of the best possible places to nap. If they don’t have a buddy to wrestle with and bite and scratch, though, they may decide the human in their life is suitable for these activities. Once this inappropriate play behavior begins, it’s difficult to break. If you feel kittens are the best choice for you, two will be happier than one.

MEOW places approximately 800 animals each year, including several from MEOW Canine Division. Our adoption standards ensure that every animal is placed in an environment where there is appropriate space, human contact, and a commitment to safeguard and care for the pet for its entire lifetime.

Our motto, “all nine lives are precious” is woven into our mission statement, engraved on the hearts of our staff, volunteers and supporters, and serves as a daily reminder of our commitment. - Bonne VeVea, Executive Director

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